Parking Improvements

On-street parking in urban areas is associated with several safety problems.

These include

  • parked vehicles blocking the sight distance of pedestrians, or of drivers entering an intersection
  • vehicles blocking through traffic while trying to enter/exit a parking space
  • conflicts with cyclists (e.g. a car door opened into the path of a cyclist)
  • through traffic trapped in the kerbside lane which ends suddenly due to parked vehicles.

    Several treatment options are available.

    Converting angle parking to parallel parking

    Sight distance to approaching traffic is blocked by other parked vehicles where drivers are required to back out of angle parking spaces onto a road. Changing angle parking to parallel parking allows drivers to drive forward to leave the parking space with a clearer view of traffic.

    Carriageway narrowing

    In busy shopping streets, the carriageway can be narrowed, and a clear distinction made between the space for through traffic, and that for parking vehicles (including space for manoeuvring).

    Parking bans

    Occasionally on-street parking needs to be removed for safety reasons. This is usually achieved by erecting appropriate parking restriction signs, but in some cases may require the installation of physical devices such as bollards.

    • Adequate on-street parking can help to improve pedestrian mobility and safety through the removal of vehicles that are causing an obstruction by being parked on the footpath.
    • Carefully designed on-street parking provision may reduce crashes, including those involving pedestrians.
    • The provision of appropriate on-street parking can help to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.
    • Can reduce the potential for sideswipe or rear-end crashes.
    • Converting angle parking to parallel parking may provide extra road space if required.
    • The provision of vehicle parking should not be at the expense of pedestrian facilities i.e. existing footpaths should not be removed to make way for new parking spaces.
    • The provision of, or amendments to on-street parking will often require a legal document such as a Traffic Regulation Order for the restrictions to be enforceable.
    • Amendments to vehicle parking provision may require changes to road markings and parking regulation signs. Other minor works (kerbs/illumination) may also be necessary in order to create on-street parking spaces.
    • The local community and local business owners should be consulted on any proposed changes to parking provision as they may object to the removal of parking particularly in commercial areas.

    Benefits

    • Adequate on-street parking can help to improve pedestrian mobility and safety through the removal of vehicles that are causing an obstruction by being parked on the footpath.
    • Carefully designed on-street parking provision may reduce crashes, including those involving pedestrians.
    • The provision of appropriate on-street parking can help to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.
    • Can reduce the potential for sideswipe or rear-end crashes.
    • Converting angle parking to parallel parking may provide extra road space if required.

    Implementation issues

    • The provision of vehicle parking should not be at the expense of pedestrian facilities i.e. existing footpaths should not be removed to make way for new parking spaces.
    • The provision of, or amendments to on-street parking will often require a legal document such as a Traffic Regulation Order for the restrictions to be enforceable.
    • Amendments to vehicle parking provision may require changes to road markings and parking regulation signs. Other minor works (kerbs/illumination) may also be necessary in order to create on-street parking spaces.
    • The local community and local business owners should be consulted on any proposed changes to parking provision as they may object to the removal of parking particularly in commercial areas.

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    Treatment Summary

    Costs
    Low to medium
    Treatment life
    5 years - 10 years
    Effectiveness
    10-25%

    References

    • iRAP Road Attribute Risk Factors - Vehicle Parking.
    • Towards Safer Roads, p128.
    • Austroads 1988, Guide to traffic engineering practice, part 11 parking, AP-11.11/88, Austroads, Sydney, New South Wales.
    • Austroads (2002-07) Road Safety Risk Assessment Project.
    • Ogden, K. W. (1996) Safer Roads - A Guide to Road Safety Engineering. Avebury Technical, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Grower House, Croft Road, Aldershot, England.